Director: Robert Altman
A crazy film which I love and adore based on the novel by Raymond Chandler. It has been adapted for the screen by Leigh Brackett and updated to make it relevant at the time it was released. Whether or not this is a literary crime against the novel, I wouldn’t know because I haven’t read it, apparently it is set it the 1940-50’s whereas the film is set in the seventies.
Philip Marlowe (Elliott Gould) is a private detective who is visited by his long standing friend Terry Lennox (Jim Bouton) seemingly in distress after having a fight with his spouse. The plot unfolds from there and in the end a murder mystery is revealed.
Wow what a fantastic film, I have to say that watching this film was like floating in a dream. I have no idea how Robert managed to pull it off but the atmosphere he created was so feverishly neo noir and beautifully understated 70’s. The entire film oozed taste from start to finish.
The film begins with Philip Marlowe being woken by his cat and I have to say that Elliot Gould really nailed this character, he played Phillip with the perfect amount of everything which resulted in a cool, sophisticated performance. He seemed to portray so effortlessly the unlikely protagonist that would see the world around him slowly become corrupt and insidious as he uncovers layers of deception and often madness with every clue that unfolds. Everyone around Phillip slowly reveals themselves to be entirely morally bankrupt except for the harmless naked ladies that live across from his apartment and constantly hold drug fuelled parties day and night.
I would go as far to say that if you love detective stories then the long goodbye is not to be missed. It really is a treat and for film lovers a must see purely based on the creation of atmosphere in the film.
8 out of 10
References: Wikipedia, IMDB, Google Images